Ian Thorpe is Still Not Gay

Ian Thorpe, seen here attending the World Swimming Championships in Melbourne over the weekend, told Good Weekend magazine that speculation about his sexuality began when he was a teenager and was an attempt to smear him:

Ian_thorpe“I became a gay icon when I was 15, which was a little bit weird. When I was 17, everyone had started that speculation about me, though I didn’t hear about most of it. I don’t have a problem with being a gay icon, it’s not a big deal to me. But I think the gay speculation, along with when I was accused of taking drugs in 2000, was an attempt to pull me down from the top. Some people think it’s an insult to say, ‘Oh I think he’s gay’, but I don’t take it that way. I’m not gay. I’m lucky that within myself I don’t care enough to get worried or upset over it.”

Australian website Same Same reports that the magazine asked Thorpe, hypothetically, if he were gay, would he come out? Said Thorpe: “I have no idea, because I’m not gay. I don’t think anyone should have to be asked that question. You don’t have to come out and declare you’re straight. It shouldn’t be a big deal today, but people still get hang-ups over it.”

The swimmer also dismissed comments that his fashion choices put his sexuality into question: “Guys are just guys, girls are just girls, all of us are different. Some guys are more in touch with their feminine side, interested in design and quirky things, some are blokey blokes.”

Thorpe, who announced his retirement last November, attended the World Swimming Championships in Melbourne over the weekend as an observer, not a participant. He’s currently preparing to produce and host a series of shows on Australia’s FOX network on climate change and environmental issues.

Ian Thorpe: I’m Not Gay [same same]

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Ian Thorpe: Gay Rumors No Big Deal [tr]


  1. rjp3 says

    He may not be gay – but he sure is hairy and sweaty in that pic ….

    “Australian website Same Same reports that the magazine asked Thorpe, hypothetically, if he were gay, would he come out? Said Thorpe: “I have no idea, because I’m not gay. I don’t think anyone should have to be asked that question. You don’t have to come out and declare you’re straight.”

    Why not Ian – you just said it is not a big deal … and yes people do declare they are straight *ALL THE TIME* to get ahead in society… not impressed with him at all.
    Still dont buy his bs.

  2. moi says

    ”Australian website Same Same reports that the magazine asked Thorpe, hypothetically, if he were gay, would he come out?”

    Are we that desperate for gay celebs that we’ve resorted to hypothetically outting people?
    This is all kinds of sad. Where do you draw the line between a genuine desire to know and hounding?

  3. Sam says

    I get tired of hearing people pressuring people to come out, if they are gay, fine, if they are straight fine, it’s not our choice to out them, it’s there own choice to come out.

  4. Chaq says

    Everyone should just mind their own fucking business. Who gives a shit if he likes men or women? The gossip and innuendo is prurient and, quite frankly, pathetic.

  5. Bill says

    This is all very tiring and sad. Are you gay yet? Are you gay yet? Are you gay yet? Are you gay yet? How about now? How about now? How about now? How about now?

  6. Luke says

    Why the need to make him gay? If he is, its his business, and if he isn’t its his business. I just don’t get this that some gay men need to have someone gay to validate themselves with saying every man who may be somewhat attractive is gay because he doesn’t have a skinny blond chick on his arm 24/7. Coming out or staying in is a personal choice, not something to be done due to rampant gossip and speculation.

  7. atheist says

    “Speculation” is putting it charitably. The guy is being asked to dignify what is nothing more than bitchy internet gossip by being asked to hypothetically come out? Wtf? This takes “speculation” to a new low and makes the gay press look desperate for an outing, even, apparently, where there isn’t one…

  8. sam(not the sam above) says

    I like his response to the question “would you come out if you were gay.” I thought it was insightful. A straight person can’t possibly know the answer to that question because he grew up straight, not gay. If he had grown up gay, his life and outlook would be significantly different.

    Oprah tried to answer that question during the Brokeback episode and said something flip like “of course I’d come out, no question. I know myself and I know I’d come out.” But, she doesn’t know who she would be if she had grown up lesbian. It makes a big difference and is not an easy answer.

  9. griffin1573 says

    Why is the gay press dragging its self in to the gutter to be along side such other notable “yellow” publications like the Star and the Enquirer?
    Are we that desperate in our cause that we would hound someone who in no way has done anything that could be offensive?

    Just because you want it to be so…dosn’t make it so.

    If your brave enough to come out….be mature enough to leave some one elses private life to them.
    In cases like this “ITS NONE OF OUR BUISNESS”.

  10. James C says

    This is actually the latest in a disturbing trend. Yeah, it would be nice if there were more high profile gay men, but this is getting ridiculous. Not every attractive, fashion conscious male celeb is going to be gay. That’s just an adolescent fantasy. Trying to force people to come out or to share every detail of their private lives is frankly obsessive and scary.

    There’s also a lot of selectivity going on about whom to fawn over and whom to attack. Johnny Weir is no less popular even though the consensus is that he is openly closeted. Yet Anderson Cooper is practically reviled, especially here. Yet their public comments on discussing their sexuality are not all that different. Why the disparity? Do we expect Weir to be gay just because he is a skater, so he gets a free pass? How is that fair?

    We’re also overly demanding of openly gay figures. Thomas Robert’s received lots of hurtful comments here and at AfterElton because people felt he did not tell us enough about his private life in an interview about being abused. Christ!

    Talk about being shortsighted. We know he is gay. We know he has a partner. He just told the world incredibly painful details about things most of us are fortunate to have never experienced, but all we care about is seeing his partner on camera because it would be good PR for the gay community. Screw that!

    You’re not going to get a perfect representative for the community no matter how much you wish for it. Thorpe is the most famous athlete in a sports obsessed country whose PM is a major homophobe and Bush ally trying to block gay civil rights legislation at every turn. Thorpe is saying being gay is no big deal to him and shouldn’t be to anyone else. That’s a good thing. Shouldn’t we be more worried about people who are saying the opposite?

  11. anon says

    He’s practically painting a bullseye on his chest. Remember that str8 guys don’t deny they’re str8. They don’t say: “I don’t like to talk about it”. Don’t be naive.

  12. el polacko says

    how sad to read so many comments insisting that whether or not someone is gay is of no importance. perhaps, someday, that will be true.. but right now we have issues like housing, employment, marriage, adoption, and inheritance, to name a few, where being gay is HUGELY important. as long as large portions of the gay population are of the mind that living bearded, closeted, and in denial are acceptable personal choices we will continue to be a marginalized minority begging for small scraps of our civil rights.

  13. says

    What total crap. This is just another calculated statement to ensure maximum marketability.

    Ian Thorpe is absolutely NOT a gay icon, he’s just incredibly gay.

    This is SO tiresome.

    It’s so patronising when celebrities think they have it all under control and that no one can see through their corporate controlled marketing based persona.

  14. says

    “how sad to read so many comments insisting that whether or not someone is gay is of no importance. ”
    Posted by: el polacko |

    Tss tss, you’re misquoting people to support your own views here. Most said “it’s not our choice to out them, it’s there own choice to come out.” – Big difference.

    And since you allude to the fact being gay *should* be of importance, how to justify the fact most of the men we turn into icons are done so BEFORE we know whether or not they are in fact gay?

    Why aren’t more people writing to The Advocate, Out, and other gay magazines and demand to them “is this man on your cover gay? is this man you’re turning into a gay icon gay? being gay matters to me!”.


    Ian Thorpe said:

    “I became a gay icon when I was 15, which was a little bit weird. I don’t have a problem with being a gay icon, it’s not a big deal to me. But I think the gay speculation, (…) was an attempt to pull me down from the top.”

    Let it be a lesson to the hetero-gushing gay community…For simple reasons that he’s a guy, and he’s ‘hot’, he was made into “gay icon”, and now we feel he owes us for all the love & publicity to turn out to be gay.

    That’s the real reason he’s resented today imo.

    Well, guess what?..it doesn’t work that way. And I know for a fact there are many men who are being gushed out today by our most prominent media who have way worse opinions about gays, some who are the worst homophobes you’ll encounter.

    Case in point: There was this model/singer I kept seeing featured, interviewed and gushed at on gay blogs, and I wanted to find out for myself if all this “gay icon” being tolerant of their gay fans was true at all. So I recently added him to myspace, and left him a simple message complimenting him on his music. Turns out he did not approve my message to be posted in public but replied to me privately (nicely)..want to know why? Cause I had put “Queer” in my myspace name!! Yep, true story..I’m sure you’ll want to know which star it is, but I’m too decent to say who…the whole point is to say: when we’re about making “gay icons” out of men based on their looks (and their heterodness too) we’re fooling ourselves into thinking that makes them more tolerant of homosexuality. It doesn’t.

  15. says

    OMG claiming every man who dresses good and is attractive is gay and just needs to some out is stupid imagine if david beckham was not married so if someone does not dress up or into in fashion are they not gay.

  16. joshua says

    Bravo…..the intelligent and sensible comments far outnumber the lame ones this time.
    I don’t care if Ian Thorpe is gay, unless he’s in my bedroom,(in which case we need to discuss some ground rules) I don’t need to know, it’s HIS business.

    And I certainly agree with DA about gay publications and gay sponsers…..if it’s so damn important to be gay….then why do you always have almost exclusivly str8 men on your covers, selling your products, or being interviewed?

  17. Jeff says

    I agree that the constant speculation is idiotic, and if the boy says he’s straight then we should take his word at face value.

    BUT that doesn’t negate the fact that coming out is the most important thing we can do. It’s our only form of integration, the only tool we have to actively dispel all the ignorance and fear in this world still directed at us. It is, in fact, all we have.

    I find Ian’s comments courageous and encouraging- he is indeed a great, straight ally. It would not be presumtuous, however, IMHO, to call him cowardly if he were in fact gay (which he obviously isn’t).

    My point is, if you’re gay, COME OUT, and if you’re not ready yet, make yourself ready. Or don’t think you’re doing anything to help the cause. Period.

  18. maz says

    You guys missed the best part of the interview which was printed out in full in Sydney Morning Herald’s Sunday magazine. He said that it was wrong of people to try and pull him down by speculating that he’s gay, because being gay is not an insult(yes, it did seem like a rip-off from Oprah). But how many straight people or closeted people come up with decent responses like that? Not many! I liked Ian’s dignity and the strength with which he faced such senseless scrutiny over so many years.

    People still need to get it whacked into their heads that accusing someone of homosexuality as if it is a dirty smear is just plain wrong and pathetic.

  19. Tara_Reid says

    Omg – please get a brain peoples.

    1. He talks gay – I live in Australia and gay people talk gay here you know which ones are the gay ones because they have that camp lilt to their voice.

    2. He wears leather pants. Ok so he’s just kinky.

    3. He hangs out with – WAIT FOR IT – Gay? fashion designers, even David Beckham just does the ads and things doesn’t hang around them making you think that he’s their toyboy.

    4. He’s friends with Elle Macpherson – like who would want to be fucking Friends with Goddamn Elle MacFuckingPherson?

    5. He walks gay

  20. atheist says

    Tara, I think you’ve got the wrong site dear; try Dlisted.com for nasty bitchmongering or one of the many other gossip sites for trolling 15 year olds…I’m sure you’ll feel right at home.

  21. Frank says

    I never really was a ian thorpe fan, BUT if I was he is doing every thing possible to lose fans,AND one day thorpe will wake up and think “Oh shit what have i done ” well he cuddle up to his MONEY in his LONELY bed!!!

  22. HORSE says

    Hahahahaha . Ohh Ian, we are not so easily deceived. Especially since I KNOW a guy who he has been with sexually and was even involved with and not only is he gay but he is also packing quite the torpedo in those speedos.
    I must have been asleep when the queen became a gay icon, Gay yes but gay icon ? hmmmm . I am sure that royal appointment is held for Ms Phelps.

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